A Well-Stocked Pantry

I’ve been thinking about what a well-stocked pantry should look like.  These are the things that I almost always have in my kitchen.  They are the long-lasting items that I can keep around and count on.  They are the building blocks of a good meal, supplemented weekly with fresh foods, and replenished regularly.

Dry Goods

  • Canned Beans (My favorites are chickpeas, black beans, and cannellini beans)
  • Dry Beans (My favorites are lentils, split peas, and black beans)
  • Grains (My favorites are brown rice, basmati brown rice, quinoa, and pasta)
  • Canned Tomatoes and Tomato Sauces
  • Silken Tofu and Soy Milk (A lot of grocery stores don’t realize this, but the vacuum-sealed cartons are shelf-stable.)
  • A Few Key Spices (For me the most important ones are salt/pepper, curry powder/paste, cumin, crushed red pepper, and cinnamon)
  •  Veggie Bouillon (in case I run out of homemade broth)
  • Peanut Butter!
  • Popcorn Kernels
  • Olive Oil
  • Baking Supplies (flour, sugar, baking powder/soda, vanilla extract)
  • Oats
  • Dried Fruits (usually prunes and cranberries)
  • Nuts (My favorites are cashews and almonds)

Produce

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • I buy other, faster-spoiling produce on at least a weekly basis, of course, but the above are the three things I always have.

Freezer

  • Bread
  • Homemade Veggie Broth (of course)
  • A Few Veggies (Usually broccoli, spinach, corn, etc.)
  • A Few Fruits (Usually bananas and blueberries)
  • A Few Containers of Frozen Leftovers

Those are my absolute basic necessities.  With those foods on hand, I will never starve and never be faced with last-minute oh-yeah-I-forgot-that-I-would-need-to-eat-dinner-tonight-holy-crap-what-should-I-do-should-I-just-get-take-out panic, which saves me money big-time!

In the next few days I will post some of my favorite “pantry recipes” that utilize these staples.

What are your staples?

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